Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research

New Faculty/Early Career Teaching Certificate


Overview

What's a Certificate Program?

Each certificate program represents an opportunity for faculty to engage in and develop substantive knowledge and skills associated with a topic related to scholarly learning-centered teaching. Participants will work with CIDER staff, faculty members, and instructional experts from across the university. As such, significant commitment on the part of the faculty member is necessary for successful completion of a certificate.

The New Faculty / Early Career Teaching Certificate program provides a learning community and support structure within which faculty can become better teachers. Those within their first six years of full-time teaching in higher education are encouraged to apply to be a participant in this certificate program. Activities, topics, and interactions have been developed and customized to meet the pedagogical needs of those early in their career. Participants will develop relationships with other VT faculty members from a wide variety of disciplines throughout the university.

Description

The Virginia Tech New Faculty / Early Career Teaching Certificate program is designed to increase faculty members' instructional effectiveness, instructional efficiency, and learner-centered pedagogy. This two-semester certificate program is based on an "active learning/proactive teaching" approach to higher education instruction. Participants will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to design and implement effective learner-centered instruction – purposefully. Participants are welcome from all departments and colleges. Ultimately, this certificate is designed to be immediately useful and to provide faculty with the tools necessary to teach well.

The first semester of the program (fall) emphasizes practical, theoretical, and empirical knowledge of scholarly teaching and learning, as well as the growth of curricular, strategic, and instructional skills through engagement in authentic instructional activities (e.g., micro-teaching, peer observation, communities of practice). This knowledge and skill development concentrates on three areas: (a) student learning, motivation, self-regulation, and agency; (b) instructional design, strategies, assessment, and evaluation; and (c) course design, development, implementation, and evaluation.

During the second semester of the program (spring), faculty apply learner-centered teaching and learning fundamentals to create/re-design a course they will teach the following semester. Additionally, each faculty member will engage in significant reflection and self-assessment to develop skills in modifying teaching; faculty within each cohort will observe each other's teaching and provide constructive feedback; and faculty will work with more experienced professors as mentors. Self-assessment, peer-observation, and constructive feedback are significant aspects of this portion of the program so that purposeful teaching, meaningful reflection, and the subsequent analysis of instructional effectiveness, accurately represents the culture of continuous improvement that is crucial for scholarly teaching and learning.


Application Submission: All applications must be submitted online.

Program Goals

The New Faculty / Early Career Teaching Certificate program is designed to provide Virginia Tech faculty members with the opportunity to develop their pedagogical knowledge and skills.

Faculty will purposefully and proactively:

  • design effective learner-centered instruction that emphasizes core curricular ideas and focuses on student learning. (PLANNING)
  • apply fundamental learning principles toward the creation of learner-centered instructional environments. (LEARNING)
  • integrate assessment into instruction, viewing assessment as both a component of student learning and a component of what students have learned. (ASSESSMENT)
  • respect the institutional and cultural contexts within which college teaching occurs. (CONTEXT)
  • implement instruction that is focused on and fosters student learning. (TEACHING)

Participation Benefits

Participants in the New Faculty / Early Career Teaching Certificate program can expect several benefits, including:

  • Development of integrated knowledge related to teaching, learning, motivation, assessment, instructional strategies, instructional technologies, instructional design, and classroom management.
  • Development of teaching skills, including using instructional strategies (e.g., discussion, group work, lecturing, problem-based learning, case-based learning, writing), teaching large and small classes, and applying classroom management.
  • Development of instructional design skills, including conducting a needs assessment, and engaging in course design, lesson design, and assignment design.
  • Development of assessment strategies, including formative and summative assessments, and authentic and traditional assessments.
  • Development of skills in reaching all students, including universal design and inclusive pedagogy.
  • Development of confidence in creating and implementing effective instruction.

In addition, participants will receive a certificate of successful completion, indicating their growth in knowledge and skills related to learner-centered pedagogy.


Participation Requirements

Participants in the New Faculty / Early Career Teaching Certificate program must meet each of the following requirements:

  • Participants must be full-time faculty, and may be from any department, unit, or college.
  • Participants must be in their first six years of teaching, at any institution.
  • Participants must be teaching fall and/or spring during the program participation.
  • Participants can miss no more than one program session per semester.
  • Participants must engage in required class peer and formative observations.
  • Participants must be interested in refining their teaching, reflecting on teaching and learning processes, and actively supporting other teachers at Virginia Tech.

Participation Costs

There is no cost for faculty to participate in the New Faculty / Early Career Teaching Certificate program


Application Procedure

Applicants for the New Faculty / Early Career Teaching Certificate program must complete the online application process, which includes the following:

  1. Applicant's name, department, phone, email
  2. Department head/chair’s name, department, phone, email
  3. A description of your (a) teaching experience, (b) teaching approach, and (c) personal goals.
    1. Half-page description of your teaching experience (e.g., courses taught) and teacher training experience (e.g., workshops, courses, Preparing Future Faculty participation).
    2. Half-page description of your teaching approach (e.g., if someone came to watch you teach, what would they see?)
    3. Half-page explanation of your personal goals for participating in the New Faculty/Early Career Teaching Certificate program.
  4. Current CV in PDF format.

These descriptions and explanations will be cut-and-paste into a web-based form; thus, no graphics or tables should be submitted. The CV should be uploaded as a single PDF file.

Application Due Date: September 1, 2016
Participants Notified: September 2, 2016

Application Submission: All applications must be submitted online.


Certificate Schedule

The New Faculty / Early Career Teaching Certificate program will consist of two cohorts of 15 faculty each, a Tuesday Cohort and a Wednesday Cohort. In addition, each cohort will engage in peer teaching observations, peer teaching evaluations, and micro-teaching practice.

Fall Meeting Dates*

Tuesday Cohort
2 pm - 4 pm
Wednesday Cohort
10 am - 12 pm
September 20 September 21
October 4 October 5
October 18 October 19
November 1 November 2
November 15 November 16
December 6 December 7

** The fall agenda will include peer observations.


Spring Meeting Dates**

Tuesday Cohort
2 pm - 4 pm
Wednesday Cohort
10 am - 12 pm
January 17 January 18
January 31 February 1
February 21 February 22
March 14 March 15
March 28 March 29
April 11 April 12

** The spring agenda will include peer observations.


Program Graduation (both cohorts)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017, The Inn and Conference Center, 5:00-7:00 pm


Program Questions

Questions regarding the New Faculty/Early Career Teaching Certificate program should be directed to:
Danielle Lusk, Associate Director
Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research
dlusk@vt.edu, 231-7930









Application Submission

All applications must be submitted online.




Program Questions

Questions regarding the certificate program should be addressed to Danielle Lusk, dlusk@vt.edu